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Arizona Cardinals have an odd relationship with the top earning running backs in NFL history

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With David Johnson coming up on a payday, the Cardinals have a history of being involved with top earning running backs.

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With the way NFL contracts are being paid out now, it is astonishing to see a list of career earnings and where players fall.

For instance, the Manning’s, Peyton and Eli, have earned more than any other player in their respective careers:

Peyton - $248,732,000
Eli - $219,280,004

The first non-quarterback on the list is Julius Peppers, who continues to get paid today, while Larry Fitzgerald finds himself 10th all time... for now.

So, when Spotrac tweeted out something on the career earnings of running backs, it caught my eye immediately:

Notice, the top three names listed were all Arizona Cardinals players at one time or another. While only Edgerrin James played a significant amount of time in Arizona, it was crazy to me to see that the Cardinals had paid three of the top four running backs (in terms of career earnings) to ever play the game.

Missing from the list who is third all time is Reggie Bush, but most of that money came from being drafted second overall in 2006.

Then it got me thinking... Where will David Johnson’s next contract put him?

Johnson will have made $4,305,812 when it is all said and done after 2018, and his projected contract is going to be between $40-45 million, meaning after this contract, if he plays it out, Johnson will get into the top 15 paid of all time. If he gets $50 million, which seems impossible in today’s NFL market, he’ll vault into the top 10 all time, with a chance to make it up to seven if he plays the length of his contract.

The craziest part is, Johnson’s second contract could be his last, and it still would get him into that company because of how low running back salaries are.

No, if you have a child who is good enough athlete to play in the NFL, it seems like anywhere but running back is the right position.